Monday, January 20, 2014

Backup and Storage

This rough note concerns two problems:

  1. keeping a coherent view of documents across machines
  2. cost effective storage for people with many or large files.

Some alternatives

iCloud is quite expensive and frankly, its workflow baffles me. I don't trust any of the synchronization steps Apple takes with iCloud, iTunes, etc. I know a few people who are quite comfortable with these aspects of the Apple offering however. Best case: the cost is about 4x Google Drive and search is much less powerful.

Most companies I've worked with recently make a lot of use of DropBox. I don't use it because its pricing policy combined with its work flow make it very easy to run up  big bills. Best case: the cost is 2x Google Drive and search is less powerful.

Google Drive provides 15 gig of combined Gmail and Drive storage. Jumping up to 100 gig is $5/month. 

Mix and match

Anyone with piles of raw photos or similar volume has a tough choice: A cloud based system like Google Drive with the problems presented by remote storage or a local high density drive at about $70 per TB. If I needed that kind of volume (100g+) I'd use both for redundancy. (I think 18 mp images require about 24.5 mp each. So, Google Drive offers about 612244 images for free.) My guess is that is enough for a journalist or programmer but not for a photographer.

For writers to store their work, 15 gigs is probably enough for a lifetime. For writers who want to keep access to massive amounts of text,  then Evernote may solve the problem. My personal hope is to stay within 15 gigs on Google Drive until prices drop. 

At the moment I have...

  • Google services for email and documents I create.
  • Amazon cloud for MP3s. [Play may be better.]
  • Local hard drive for MP4s. Expanding Google Drive would probably be wise, even at $5/month.
  • Local hard drive for photos; I don't take a lot, but I really should move them all from cameras to one place and since most of my photos are from a phone with 4-5 mp, Google Drive is probably fine. But, I need to consolidate. Until I do obsessing about the technology used for storage is a waste of time.
  • GitHub for code


I don't take photos of anything I want to keep secret from NSA, like my favorite place to catch large, wild trout.